Boat Rocker Studios has put in development Pulitzer Prize-winner Whitehead’s novel as a television series at HBO Max. Daniel “Koa” Beaty is attached to write the pilot. Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland’s Cinema Gypsy Productions (Grown-ish, Black-ish) is on board to executive produce.
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“Colson is a once-in-a-generation author who has the unique ability to craft beautiful and authentic stories that captivate and transform readers, and Sag Harbor is a true expression of that gift,” said Katie O’Connell Marsh, Vice-Chair of Boat Rocker Studios. “We’re thrilled to be working with HBO Max, Cinema Gypsy and Koa to bring this coming-of-age story to the screen.”
Set in 1985, Sag Harbor tells the story of Benji Cooper, one of the few Black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. Every summer, Benji escapes to the Hamptons, to Sag Harbor, where a small community of African American professionals have built a world of their own.
Koa and Whitehead will executive produce alongside Katie O’Connell Marsh for Boat Rocker, and Fishburne and Sugland for Cinema Gypsy Productions.
Koa has developed an award-winning body of work that includes his plays Through the Night, Emergency, Mr. Joy and The Tallest Tree in the Forest – Paul Robeson. He has garnered numerous awards including an Obie for writing and performance and five NAACP Theater Awards. He’s repped by Rain Management Group.
“I’m honored to partner with this wonderful team, and to adapt Colson’s beautiful book,” said Beaty. “It’s a world and family rarely seen on screen, and that’s thrilling during these transformational times.”
Whitehead is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad. His other works include The Noble Hustle and Zone One, among others. He is repped by Nicole Aragi at Aragi Inc. and Brooke Ehrlich at Anonymous Content.
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